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The animation industry


Independent animators
Jules Engel Film-maker
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Animation... animation as an industry and as an art form, sure. And that's where a man like Oskar Fischinger and Len Lye would be, you know? But in the industry, no one would know them. They would not know who the hell you're talking about if you're talking about Len Lye or Oskar Fischinger. They just don't know because… now we are getting into some very strange terrain, they're really not interested. It's a job. And in the industry, in a studio, where maybe one or two person might know about Len Lye or Oskar Fischinger, but in general, they would not know who the hell you're talking about. So that is the situation. And then when you go to the magazines, the art magazines and you have some of these people in there, the people will just turn that page over because it's not Bobo Canon and it's not Chuck Jones. So they don't function on that terrain. If one out of two in a studio, which had maybe 150 members, or 200, would know who these people are, I would be surprised. But then again, that's part of the… that world. Which is animation at the studio or the animator away from a studio, where he will function as an artist performs his art. An animator in a studio doesn't perform his art because he performs the art of the director. Because he's not going to get any big hoopla, the director's going to get the big hoopla. Not the guy who's working and he's not a director, you see? So that's what the industry's about.

The late Hungarian-American film-maker Jules Engel is best known for his contribution to the field of animation. His work includes the dance sequences in Walt Disney's 'Fantasia' and the creation of 'Mr Magoo'. His films and lithographs are housed in museums all over the world and have won many awards.

Listeners: Tamara Tracz Bill Moritz

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

William Moritz received his doctorate from USC and pursues parallel careers as filmmaker and writer. His forty-four experimental and animation films have been screened at museums in Paris, Amsterdam and Tokyo, among others. He published widely on Oskar Fischinger, James Whitney, Bruce Conner, the Fleischers and 200 pages of animation history for an AbsolutVodka website. He wrote chapters for the "Oxford History of Cinema", appeared in several television documentaries, curated art exhibits and received a lifetime achievement trophy from the Netherlands Royal Academy for his work with visual music. He has served on film festival juries and received an American Film Institute filmmaking grant. His poetry and plays are also performed and published. He is a leading expert of Oskar Fischinger and recently published a biography of him. He teaches at The California Institute of the Arts.

Tags: Len Lye, Oskar Fischinger, Chuck Jones, Robert Canon

Duration: 2 minutes, 10 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 29 September 2010